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Can belated business education save private medical practice?

Calculator stethoscope papers on a desk

“Why is it that about 50 percent of physicians in private medical practice have never been prepared with business education while in medical school?”

This is the question Dr. Curtis Graham poses in his fascinating piece, “How a lack of business education is destroying private medical practicefor KevinMD .

Graham explains how physicians are leaving private practice in droves and joining large networks because they can have the unattractive parts of their jobs done for them — ranging from accounting, appointment systems, insurance, and supply chains. This is under the assumption that relieving their practice of these tedious workloads and expenses will give them more time to spend with patients.

We know many network-employed doctors have found the opposite true, or at least not the nirvana they expected. But many report that removing just one high-stress element of their private practice was worth selling their soul to a larger network.

The article raises two critical questions:

1. Is it “malpractice” (my term) to not integrate a deeper business curriculum into the medical school coursework, perhaps the residency?

2. By the time the private practice physician realizes they don’t have these skills is it too late or complicated to go back and acquire them?

For more on these perspectives, see: “How a lack of business education is destroying private medical practice."

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